12:09pm: The Pelicans envision Rondo and Holiday being able to play alongside one another, and there’s “real traction” on a possible deal, sources tell Lowe and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link).
12:04pm: Free agent point guard Rajon Rondo is meeting with Pelicans officials today in Louisville, reports ESPN’s Zach Lowe. According to Lowe (via Twitter), the two sides are discussing a possible one-year deal for Rondo.
After signing Jrue Holiday to a lucrative new five-year contract, the Pelicans are in the market for a backup for Holiday, and perhaps one that could occasionally share the backcourt with him. According to Scott Kushner of The Advocate (Twitter link), Rondo is at the top of the team’s free agent point guard board, but a trade remains a possibility as well. New Orleans reportedly had discussions with the Pistons about Reggie Jackson.
Rondo, 31, had an up-and-down season in Chicago in 2016/17, averaging 7.8 PPG, 6.7 APG, and 5.1 RPG in 69 regular season games for the Bulls. He played a crucial role in leading the team to a 2-0 series lead over the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs, but missed the rest of the series – and watched his team blow that 2-0 lead – due to a hand injury. The rebuilding Bulls opted not to bring Rondo back, waiving him rather than guaranteeing his $13MM salary for 2017/18.
While Rondo has been linked to a number of teams since becoming a free agent, many of his potential suitors – such as the Lakers and the Knicks – no longer have any cap room available to make a lucrative offer. Meanwhile, the Pelicans used a small portion of their mid-level exception to sign second-round pick Frank Jackson, but should still have about $7.5MM available to sign Rondo or another free agent.